Borough draw in Matt Smart testimonial

Matt Smart was never one to avoid a tackle during his Borough days
Matt Smart was never one to avoid a tackle during his Borough days

Eastbourne Borough continued their preseason preparations with a 1-1 draw at Leatherhead on Wednesday night.

Stacy Long was on target for Tommy Widdrington’s side before a Simon Johnson own goal levelled the scores.

The match had extra significance as it doubled as a testimonial for ex-Borough midfielder Matt Smart.

Smart was an important player for Borough during their rise to the Conference Premier under Garry Wilson.

Last season he represented Leatherhead and was part of their side that gained promotion to the Ryman Premier.

Borough boss Widdrington said, “It was another good preseason test for us. Leatherhead are a side on the up and you have to say if it was an FA Cup fixture we would have been happy to go there and come away with an away draw.

“It was not a win but it was not defeat so in that respect I’m quite happy.

“We have not been as fluid as we were last season but I’m seeing good signs from the lads. The core of the side is there but perhaps we still need some work in some areas.”

On Matt Smart Widdrington added, “I have heard talk that Matt plans to retire but for me he looked their best midfielder.

“He’s as fit as a fiddle and I’m sure he is more than capable of doing a job at that level.

“He put on the Borough shirt for the last 15 minutes and played for us. It was a nice touch as he was a very good and very popular player for Borough during his career .”

During the match Widdrington cast his eye over centre Midfielder Dean Sinclair who featured for Borough.

The 30-year-old former Grimsby and Sutton United player could potentially bolster Widdrington’s options in centre midfield this season following the departures of Charlie Gorman and Frankie Raymond.

Charlie Losasso missed the match and is still recovering from an injury picked up in a friendly against Eastbourne United.

He is not expected to feature against Lewes at Priory Lane on Saturday and is doubtful for Borough opening fixture in the Vanarama South against Wealdstone

Borough starting XI: Carey, Welch, Beale, Sinclair, Watts, Lovett, McCallum, Aldred, Pacquette, Johnson, Lok